Hey everyone! I'm glad to have found such a lively and friendly forum here focused on what should soon be my new ride!
Quick back story: A few years ago I moved to the urban Midwest from a small California town and have found that my current car isn't exactly ideal for handling the potholes and harsh winter weather. I also love camping and have ridden with friends off road a number of times, so I'm excited to be somewhat forced into making the switch from a back road burner to a highly capable off-roader. I started out knowing that I wanted a 4x4 on a truck frame with a solid rear axle so I'd be able to jump into some moderate off-roading while stock. Naturally I began by looking at the renowned (slightly older) Toyota 4Runners, but after driving a few of the ugly, cheap-feeling, slow, rusting, lumbering beasts I quickly decided to start looking elsewhere. Having never owned or even really even considered owning a Nissan before (except maybe dreaming about 300zxs in high school) I was pleasantly surprised to find that 08+ Xterras have very good reliability ratings. I continued my research and the more I found out about them, the more I saw myself driving one. I took a test drive today (in an 06) and have pretty much decided that an Xterra will be my next ride, assuming I find one with the right options in the right condition.
Anyway, I hope these questions aren't continuously asked here, and I did a quick search but didn't come up with much so I was hoping someone here might help me out with a few questions I had about 08 Xterras.
Can someone explain (in as much detail as possible) the differences between the X, S, SE, and Off-Road trim levels? The Google searches I've done on the topic seem to have turned up incomplete, contradicting or outright inaccurate information. For example, I've seen a few SEs listed on auto trader but they don't have audio controls on the steering wheel, nor a 6 disc changer. I thought both were standard for an SE. Also, the 06 X I drove had 2 power jacks in the dash, but more expensive trims seem to only have one? Was this a dealer option or just a year to year difference?
When I go to kick the tires on perspective rigs, what exactly should I examine, look out for, test, etc, in order to make sure I'm buying a well maintained ride that will last hundreds of thousands of miles with minimal headaches?
How off-road capable are the non Off-Road (trim level) 4x4s? I don't ever see myself traversing a field of boulders for example, but it would be nice to know I could if I needed to. Is it possible to add on the ability to lock the rear diff to an S or SE model?
That's all I can think of for now though I'm sure I'll come up with more later. Thanks in advance and since everyone likes pictures, I'll end with the car I'll be practically heartbroken to see go...